Northshea, a black-owned company out of Richmond, Virginia founded by Charity Dinko has suffered a $70, 000 loss after nearly 2,000 pounds of shea butter was stolen from her storage unit.
“Everything was gone,” the founder lamented.
“I started the company Northshea. We produce incredible Shea butter that we also use in making our body butter, and we sell wholesale and retail to other businesses that make soap as well,” she said.
The company was positioned to provide economic stability to women in her home country. “The people there are extremely hardworking, especially the women, and there is extreme poverty to the point where most of them don’t even have food to feed their kids daily,” Dinko said.
“Usually if they go out to sell these thing themselves, they sell them for about 25 cents a pound,” Dinko said, adding: “So we are able to market this over here, pay them living wages, so they can have a much more comfortable life.”
According to NBC News, Dinko’s business quite literally is the lifeline for countless people in her village, but now she has nothing and needs help finding those responsible.
Everything changed on July 2 when Dinko got a call from the storage managers. The unit where she kept the raw product was unlocked. “I came back in the evening around 5:45, open this space up, just to realize they were right. Everything was gone. Almost 70 thousand dollars’ worth of items and sweat and all the work we put in over the past couple of years was wiped away.”
Two suspects are reportedly responsible for stealing nearly 2,000 pounds of shea butter from the storage unit on the 800 block of Staples Mill Road, the Henrico police revealed. They are asking for the public’s help finding them.
According to Dinko, to produce 2,000 pounds of shea butter took about 30 days. “And to go back and tell them that all of their hard work is gone is completely unbelievable,” she said. “They don’t even understand who did it and why.”
“I think I’m really still shocked about how they knew there was so much product in here, who did it specifically and also why they did that to a company that is trying to liberate women from poverty”.
A crowd fundraiser has been started to keep NorthShea back up and running as well as sustain Dinko’s dream of helping those in need. If you have any information about this incident, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.